A new partner organisation for ChoraChori

ChoraChori is very pleased to announce that we have joined hands with a second Nepalese NGO partner, the Mithila Wildlife Trust.

In a blog post last December, we stated our intention to extend our work in support of the victims of child rape into Dhanusha, south Nepal. That remains our goal however, following a visit to the District earlier this month, we reached the conclusion that we would have to approach the challenge in a more measured way that we had envisaged. The Musahar and Dom communities are very closed castes and cautious of outsiders, including Nepali people. This is hardly surprising, considering some of the injustices that have been visited upon them in the past. First, we have to build confidence by making a tangible difference to the people and specifically to the well-being of the women and children.

On our visit we were joined by Maya Rai of the Kathmandu-based Nepal Knotcraft Centre who introduced us to women from the villages and who demonstrated their existing basket-weaving techniques. Maya’s company is keen that we train these talented women in modern techniques and contemporary designs, using natural fibres that are available locally. This will give excellent employment possibilities and community upliftment

Our other host was Dev Narayan Mandal who is a keen conservationist and the Founder of the Mithila Wildlife Trust. Dev is a local man who spent nine years in India before resolving to return to his home area and help the community which relies on the nearby forest for so much of its welfare. Sadly, that forest has been severely damaged by illegal logging but, through his Trust, this can be restored. Dev also explained the need for education to break the village poverty that has been such a central factor in child marriage. The (illegal) dowry system is being sustained in large part because the younger the girl at the time of marriage, the lower the dowry payment. Although the legal age for marriage in Nepal is 20, girls from this community were marrying between the ages of 12 and 16. Education offers the only way out.

In response we have agreed to fund the construction of a study facility that will support over 200 children outside of school hours, improving school retention rates. This will cost £9,500 and that sum has been kindly gifted by major donors in the UK. We have also provided £1,600 towards setting up a low-cost training space for the women, this through our “Empowering Girls in Nepal” collaboration with SIGBI. Both facilities should be constructed within three months and in good time before this year’s monsoon season.

This is just the first step in what is sure to be a productive and rewarding partnership!

Follow up visit to Kitini College

ChoraChori Founder/CEO Philip Holmes today paid an evaluation and monitoring visit to Kitini College; he was greeted by a very happy Headteacher, staff and pupils.

Saroj KC, Headteacher of Kitini College, NepalIt is incumbent upon us to follow up the projects we fund; this is a task that includes through visits by the CEO and Trustees of the charity. The Treasurer makes an annual visit to review the local finances. Today Philip Holmes visited Kitini College which has received tens of thousands of pounds of funding from ChoraChori towards making this one of the top state schools in Nepal. Through grants secured from Foundations and some community fundraising, we have been able to pay for science laboratories and a computer lab that have allowed the school to extend its curriculum. Indeed it is currently making the transition from being a Nepali medium school to an English medium school. This represents a major step-up for Kitini.

The most recent project has been the retrofitting of the school to make it resistant to future earthquakes. Three-quarters of the £68k project has been funded through us by our UK partner Foundations while the remainder has been donated by a grant from the local municipality. The building works began in February and should be completed by the end of next month. There has been a slight delay due to the water supply drying up – a sign of the times, sadly, as in the recent past this part of the valley provided water to the rest of Kathmandu.

The Headteacher, Mr Saroj KC, pictured above with Bhaskar Karki and Shailaja CM of ChoraChori-Nepal, was beaming with delight. These works have meant so much to him not only for professional reasons but for very personal ones. For he told us today that he is a former pupil of the school and his father was once the Vice-Principal. This sense of ownership explains why he is so passionate about taking the school forward.

There was one other marker of success apart from the tangible ones that we saw today. Somewhat surprisingly, when we started working at the school we found that 70% of the pupils were girls. This is because parents were sending their sons to private schools so that they could have a better education. In the space of three years that percentage has dropped to 60% although the numbers of students at the school have increased substantially. Essentially, our enhancements are levelling the playing field and boys are now being transferred from nearby private schools to Kitini. Mr KC is confident that the proportion will be 50:50 very soon.

Our next major project at the school will be to establish a bursary scheme to begin at the start of the next academic year in April 2020. This will benefit children from the poorest families, irrespective of gender.

 

Nepal International Marathon

Nepal International MarathonNepal International Marathon

ChoraChori is recruiting runners to take part in this year’s Nepal International Marathon. This challenging, scenic trail running event takes place each November and is held in the hills above Kathmandu.

Fancy taking on the run of a lifetime?

Applications are now open for this year’s Nepal International Marathon that the Impact Marathon Series will manage between 13th and 19th November 2017. The idea of the Nepal International Marathon is that you can run in support of a chosen Nepal charity project. During the course of the week you’ll get the opportunity to visit your project and get your hands dirty with a short local volunteering task. The magical part is that you and 120 fellow runners will stay in a pop up camp that the organisers set up in a stunning hill-top location.

Choose your camping style and running distance

There are three options – taking your own tent (£495), glamping (£645) or luxe glamping (£795). You can select a 10km, half marathon or full marathon route over trails that involve significant Nepalese undulations. Click the picture above left to get an idea of what it’s all about and to sense the amazing atmosphere. Not to mention the pain and the triumph of crossing the finish line!

Helping Nepali schools

Nepal International Marathon

Children enjoying a free lunch at a ChoraChori supported school

By choosing ChoraChori you will be raising sponsorship towards our education programme. Through this we have been reinstating education in the wake of the Nepal earthquakes of 2015. Those two massive earthquakes had a devastating impact on Nepali children. But we’ve risen to the challenge, rebuilding three schools. Additionally, we’ve provided vital short term revenue support to encourage attendances and reduce drop outs. That initiative makes children less vulnerable to trafficking.

Our preferred fundraising platform for UK participants is BT MyDonate. Although it has fewer bells and whistles than the other fundraising sites, it is undoubtedly the most cost-effective. You can find out more about the Nepal International Marathon and sign up through the button below. But please remember that November is a peak time to visit Nepal and flights become more expensive to book the longer you wait!

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Remembering Christian Kaesler in Nepal

imgonline-com-ua-piconpic-7QzpRNMCgXJ9Yesterday was one of those really heart-warming days that we are privileged to experience from time to time in Nepal. It was the occasion of the official opening of the new TulsaDevi school that ChoraChori rebuilt after the earthquake. But it was special also in that the inauguration was in memory of Christian Kaesler, whose parents were major donors towards the project. Click on the image on the left to watch the film and find out more.

Double your money in #educatingreeti !

Today a supporting UK grant-making Foundation has offered to match the first £3,000 towards our Educating Reeti appeal! So your £10 gift automatically becomes £20 for ChoraChori. That’s great news for the kind supporters who have already donated £2,254 at the time of writing. But there’s still £750 in matching funds available for new donors. Please donate and share this message and let’s make a difference in Nepal.

 

Educating Reeti – Rajman goes back to school

Rajman dropped out of school after the 2015 Nepal earthquakes. Thanks to ChoraChori-Nepal he has now rejoined school and has high hopes for the future! #educatingreeti Please donate and share:

Educating Reeti – Reeti’s Teacher

As part of our Educating Reeti crowdfunding challenge we are profiling some of the individuals who are stakeholders in the project. Here we meet Reeti’s teacher, Mrs Samjhana Bista:

Please use the button below to support this important project:

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Educating Reeti – Reeti’s Friends: Anita’s mother

In our last film we profiled Anita, the nine year old girl who faces a daily uphill struggle, literally, in getting to her village school in Nepal. Here is her mother explaining why education matters to her. Note the smoke levels inside her home. Such domestic air pollution is common in Nepali villages and contributes to a great deal of respiratory illness.

Please support our crowdfunding campaign:

#educatingreeti

Launch of “Educating Reeti” – Anita’s story

Nine year old Anita attends Chapakharka village school in the hills to the southeast of Kathmandu. She is one of the children who will benefit from our “Educating Reeti” crowdfunding campaign that launched at 2 p.m. today. Between now and the 18th July we’re aiming to raise £36,090 towards completing the building of three earthquake-destroyed village schools, including Chapakharka, and covering daily costs including free lunches that will encourage children to return to school.

You can help us by donating using the link below but above all by sharing this post with your friends. Let’s deliver funds to the point of greatest need in Nepal! #educatingreeti

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Visiting Reeti in Nepal

Reeti and her friends enjoying our visit

I was very privileged today to accompany my wonderful colleagues at ChoraChori Nepal and ChoraChori UK Trustee Julie Graham on a visit to the three schools that we are helping to recover after the earthquakes – three schools being rebuilt and children who are growing in confidence about their schooling. We took with us school clothes and shoes that were well received by the kids who come from really poor families in the remote hills above Kathmandu. I also got to meet Reeti, the figurehead for our appeal “Educating Reeti” that we’ll launch on the 13th June. That’ll be your chance to support some great grassroots charity work in Nepal. Meantime please take a moment to like us on Facebook!

Bhaskar proud to be the Chairman of the Nepal NGO ChoraChori

Bhaskar proud to be the Chairman of the Nepal NGO ChoraChori

ChoraChori Nepal distributing shoes and clothes to the children at Chapakharka school

ChoraChori Nepal distributing shoes and clothes to the children at Chapakharka school

Material support to the needy children in the hills above Kathmandu

Material support to the needy children in the hills above Kathmandu

ChoraChori Nepal staff members Abha Karki and Reeti Sharma doing their bit for Nepal's children

Delivering welcome presents to the children at Chapakharka

Delivering welcome presents to the children at Chapakharka

Distributing presents to the children outside their temporary learning centre at Chapakharka

Distributing presents to the children outside their temporary learning centre at Chapakharka

At the school in Chapakharka today

At the school in Chapakharka today

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